CloudFucius Asks: Will Open Source Open Doors for Cloud Computing?

There has been a lot of press already about OpenStack’s announcement yesterday about their new open source cloud computing software.  OpenStack says that the goal is, ‘to allow any organization to create and offer cloud computing capabilities using open source software running on standard hardware.’  The software is intended to to allow companies to automatically create and manage large deployments of virtual private servers and remove the concern of vendor lock-in since the software will allow customers to span multiple cloud providers.  Customers and service providers alike can use their own physical hardware to create large cloud environments, public or private, across the globe.  It is also positioned to give customers more choice in how they want their specific cloud environment designed and deployed.  Almost 30 companies are participating with the folks at Rackspace and NASA (Nebula cloud computing platform) leading the charge.

Certainly, there are several attractive pieces to this, including the notion of cloud-standards, but will it finally open the flood gates for mass adoption of Cloud deployments?  Maybe not for the enterprise, at least initially.  Openstack honestly admits, ‘OpenStack is probably not something that the average business would consider deploying themselves yet. The big news for end customers is the potential for a halo effect of providers adopting an open and standard cloud: easy migration, cloud-bursting, better security audits, and a large ecosystem of compatible tools and services that work across cloud providers.’  This means that Openstack is really aimed at *very* technical enterprises (very large with lots of resources) and service providers.  Thus, the play for the enterprise does not exist (yet) here, *except* for management layer players who could leverage it to build something they could sell to enterprises to “make it easy” for them.  (thanks Lori!)

In addition, as Ted Julian of the Yankee Group points out in this story, security is still the great unknown since there doesn’t seem to be a security vendor on the list of Openstack participants.  I’m sure that list will grow over time, especially with the press that it’s getting, and the ever present cloud security concerns will eventually be addressed.  This project is in the very early stages and will continue to evolve as folks pick up the code, test it and decide how it might work for them.  Maybe it’ll also help push along and enable the whole Inter-Cloud notion.

And one from Confucius: The cautious seldom err.


The CloudFucius Series: Intro, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13


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Published Jul 20, 2010
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